Broads Authority and City College partnership win national heritage construction award

A new scheme to train young people to become the next generation of heritage skills and construction craftspeople has scooped a Constructing Excellence National 2019 Award, competing against some of the largest construction firms in the country.

wmm award

Team members from a new partnership between the Broads Authority and City College Norwich picked up a Highly Commended, Constructing Excellence National 2019 Award, at an award ceremony in London last week (8 November). They attended alongside 600 others finalists from national and international construction companies, water companies and large local authorities.

The Heritage Skills Construction Training Project provides apprenticeships and practical work experience to repair and restore the iconic drainage mills of the Broads National Park, as part of the Broads Authority’s Water, Mills and Marshes Programme.

The team were competing against nine other finalists in the Preservation and Restoration category, including the Canals and Rivers Trust for the Glan Hafren Bridge project and Kew Gardens for the restoration of the Great Pagoda.

This year, more than 30 City College Norwich students from a range of courses including: brickwork; carpentry and joinery; painting and decorating and maintenance operations, have already taken part in on-site restoration work, learning and using traditional heritage skills at North Mill on Halvergate Marshes.

The winners in the Preservation and Restoration category were Arups, for Kresen Kernow –Cornwall’s brand new, state-of-the-art archive centre. In second place, the Heritage Skills Construction Training Project received a Highly Commended award.

Six Mile House drainage mill

Broads Authority Chief Executive John Packman said: 

“We are absolutely delighted to receive a Highly Commended award. The Broads Authority has been involved in training programmes for young people in conservation, construction and heritage for over 20 years. 

“This national recognition is the result of many years of hard work by our members of staff.” 

Water Mills and Marshes Programme Manager Will Burchnall said of the awards, After winning the Regional Constructing Excellence Awards to get to the National Final, being nominated was more than we could have hoped for. For our project to be Highly Commended and able to compete in the same category with some of the country’s finest architects and construction companies is incredible.”

Steve Carr, Head of Construction at City College Norwich, added,

“The Water Mills and Marshes programme has been hugely beneficial for students on a wide range of construction courses and Apprenticeships.  Unlike conventional housebuilding projects, no two heritage projects are the same.  Each project brings its own unique challenges.  This has helped broaden our students’ knowledge and skills, as well as developing their problem-solving abilities.

“We are immensely proud to receive this recognition.  It is an honour to be considered for an award alongside such prestigious projects from around the country.  To be Highly Commended is a real testament to the hard work of our students, lecturing staff, and technicians, and this achievement is a reflection of the excellent partnership we have developed with the Broads Authority.

The partnership team would like to thank all staff involved in developing and managing the scheme, including: Lucy Pointer at the Broads Authority (Head of Human Resources),
Steve Carr (Head of Construction), Sean Grimes (Heritage Skills Training Supervisor) at City College Norwich and Terry Osborne (Claritie CIC).

Wednesday 13 November 2019